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November 4, 2015

Huawei leapfrogs HTC and Sony in European Android market

News: Portfolio and branding drives push it into second in smartphone race.

By Alexander Sword

Huawei has become the second largest Android vendor in Europe, moving up from 6th place in only twelve months.

From sixth place in 2014, Huawei moved ahead of rivals including Sony, HTC and Motorola, according to Kantar WorldPanel.

Huawei recently overtook local rival Xiaomi in its home market of China, and has been aggressively expanding into Europe and other markets. This includes launch events in London and devices specifically targeted at Europe’s lucrative luxury market, such as the "pioneering" Honor series and the P8.

In a validation of this strategy, shipments of Huawei’s Honor devices made up 3 million of the 20 million sold in the first six months of 2015.

Research from Strategy Analytics also revealed that Huawei became the third largest mobile phone vendor in the world in Q2 2015, behind only Apple and Samsung.

According to Robert Cozza, Research Director at Gartner, Huawei’s success was due to both a strong portfolio and successful marketing efforts.

"They have quite an attractive portfolio," says Cozza. "Beyond China they have been successful with the Honor Brand but above all with the Ascend and Mate 7. The P8 has also done well in Europe.

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"They’ve done a good job of improving their brand perception, which is a big challenge for any Chinese vendor that goes outside China. They are spending a lot to improve brand awareness."

In terms of rivals, Cozza says that "it is going to be very hard for Sony and HTC.

"It is unclear how committed Sony is to the smartphone market at this point. Sony has other parts of its business to support it."

Cozza suggests that "there could be consolidation" in the market in the future, including mergers or acquisitions.

The report also saw Samsung’s share of the market rising in Great Britain, now representing 53 percent of Android sales there compared to 50 percent the previous year.

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